Meade LPI-G Monochrome fast download black-and-white CMOS solar system imager


Availability: More on the way

The Meade LPI-G Monochrome solar system camera and guider is the latest easy-to-use version of the Meade LPI that started the affordable solar system imaging revolution 12 years ago. 
Our Product #: LPI-GM
Meade Product #: 645002

Product Description

The Meade LPI-G Monochrome is a dedicated fast download black-and-white solar system imager (CCD camera) and autoguider that you can use with virtually any telescope. Its images can display live on your laptop or PC screen via the supplied 6" USB 2.0 cable so that several people can view the image at once. You can also save them to your computer or laptop for later processing to bring out more detail. 

The Meade LPI-G is the newest version of the original Meade LPI that started the revolution in affordable and easy lunar/planetary imaging a dozen years ago. The new Meade LPI-G is easy enough for a beginner to use, yet has a top-quality CMOS imaging sensor for exceptional lunar/planetary/solar imaging results. Monochrome imaging typically allows more fine detail to be shown than is possible with a single-shot color camera.

The sensor in the lightweight Meade LPI-G Monochrome is the ON Semiconductor AR130 CMOS. This state-of-the-art 1.2 megapixel video chip captures high-resolution planetary, lunar, and solar images in a single exposure, with a high-magnification image size approximately that of a 6mm eyepiece. 

For the sharpest possible images, the LPI-G can record a full 28 frames per second at full 1.2 megapixel resolution. Using the supplied Meade Sky Capture software, the images are stored on your computer as hundreds of individual frames. The software aligns and digitally stacks the images to reduce the electronic "noise" inherent in all video chips. Stacking brings out the unseen fine detail (signal) hidden within your real-time images. Since the signal to noise ratio of a stacked image is proportional to the square root of the number of frames, stacking as few as 16 frames reduces the noise in the image by 4 times. Stacking 1600 frames will improve the image by 40 times! 

However, stacking the individual frames to reduce the electronic noise is only part of the power of the Sky Capture software. Before the images are stacked, the software analyzes each individual frame for quality. It then filters out those frames affected (blurred) by poor atmospheric "seeing." This leaves only the sharpest, clearest frames to be stacked and automatically aligned into a single high quality image. The result is a sharp, clear solar system image with impressive detail. 

The Meade LPI-G Monochrome's small pixel size provides sub arc-second solar and planetary detail with most telescopes. For example, with a 6" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain scope the image scale is almost exactly the 0.5 arc second per pixel resolution recommended by most seasoned planetary photographers. 

As an autoguider, the LPI-G is compatible with a number of guiding and imaging programs such as Maxim DL, PHD, and FireCapture. An ST-4 guider port and 2 meter ST-4 cable are standard equipment.

For helpful information on this camera's field of view and its sky coverage in arc seconds per pixel with your particular telescope, click on the "CCD Calculator" in the "Formulas" tab above.

Getting started with the LPI-G Monochrome is as easy as pointing your telescope at the Moon, Sun, or a planet and recording a video. Solar system imaging with the LPI-G is a great way to enjoy astroimaging if you live in a light-polluted area. If you can see the Sun, Moon, or planet in the sky, you can image it with the LPI-G Monochrome.

Features of the Camera . . .

Imaging sensor: High sensitivity/high dynamic range/low noise 1/3rd inch ON Semiconductor AR130 monochrome CMOS. Fast download electronic rolling shutter lets the imaging sensor continue to gather photons during the acquisition process, thus increasing sensitivity. 

Resolution: 1.2 megapixels (1280 pixels wide x 960 pixels high, 1,228,800 total pixels). Each pixel measures 3.75 microns square. 12-bit A/D conversion rate for a wide dynamic range.

USB download: The LPI-G Monochrome uses a fast USB 2.0 high speed connection to your computer via a supplied USB cable. This allows fast data transfer of the camera's uncompressed frames. You see your images almost as soon as you take them, making focusing quick and easy. There is virtually no delay between the moment the image is taken and when it appears on your computer screen.

Connection to the telescope: The LPI-G Monochrome has a machined aluminum 1.25" nose piece that allows you to use it with any telescope having a 1.25" focuser. The nose piece is threaded for standard 1.25" eyepiece filters. The nose piece is removable, exposing female C-mount threads (25.4 mm x 32 TPI).

Power requirements: No batteries or power supplies required. The camera is powered by your computer via the USB cable. Just plug the LPI-G Monochrome's USB cable into your laptop or PC and you are ready to image. No other power supplies are needed. 

Minimum computer requirements: Intel Core 2, 2.8 GHz; 2GB RAM or higher; Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 (32 and 64 bit); Mac OSX; Linux. 

Included components: Meade LPI-G Monochrome camera with 1.25" eyepiece adapter and C-mount; USB 2.0 cable; ST-4 guider cable; a CD-ROM with software drivers, ASCOM drivers, and Meade Sky Capture software to capture streaming video of what your telescope sees, plus image processing software to align, filter, and stack individual frame into one high quality image or movie.

Tech Details

Pixel Array 1280 x 960
Pixel Size 3.75 x 3.75 microns
Weight 5 oz.
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I love my Meade LPI-G Imager, as it has very clear images used with my LX 90 8". Great for using on Solar System objects. Great entry level and affordable imager. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
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